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post #261 of 398
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsm106 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by axipher View Post

No, just 1/8" or RCA outputs.  There are no sound cards that I know of with actual speaker outputs.  I wouldn't want to rely on a sound card anyway for the high-level output which is why I've decided to go RCA to the amps.


You need a preamp to amp the RCA out's to 4v or higher if you want loud loud stuff going to the amps. The three.2 is bad ass it has a master volume knob, key EQ frequencies, built-in Epicenter like Para-bass control, 24dB/oct LR crossover and most importantly it's got a honking big Input Gain Control where it can feed upto 13v outputs to the amps input.

 

But my amplifiers have RCA inputs on them.

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post #262 of 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by axipher View Post

But my amplifiers have RCA inputs on them.


Of course they have RCAs. You're missing the point I'm afraid. The output level of the RCA's from your puter, or any output source, the line-level outputs are typically only 2v, which is not enough to feed proper amps to get them loud. When you buy a head unit only the high end units have 4v RCA outputs, and even those are not enough for high end amps. This is why people use a preamp, to add gain to be able to feed 6v and higher output source to the amps.

Another thing, you typically want to avoid turning the gain up on the amp side as that will lead to distortion. It's much better to do it in processing via the preamp which can add gain without distorting the levels.
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post #263 of 398
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsm106 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by axipher View Post

But my amplifiers have RCA inputs on them.


Of course they have RCAs. You're missing the point I'm afraid. The output level of the RCA's from your puter, or any output source, the line-level outputs are typically only 2v, which is not enough to feed proper amps to get them loud. When you buy a head unit only the high end units have 4v RCA outputs, and even those are not enough for high end amps. This is why people use a preamp, to add gain to be able to feed 6v and higher output source to the amps.

Another thing, you typically want to avoid turning the gain up on the amp side as that will lead to distortion. It's much better to do it in processing via the preamp which can add gain without distorting the levels.

 

Maybe I'm just a little confused by the use of line-level.  I've always been taught to use line-level to describe the actual speaker output from an amp, or a signal between amps coming off (+) and (-) terminals.  From my understanding, the only different level on low-level signals like RCA is when you start getting in to XLR and other professional connections.  I was under the impression that RCA signals themselves were pretty standard accross equipment and the only reason to use an RCA > RCA device was if you wanted to have a separate EQ and volume box.

 

I was planning on using a high-end sound card to output RCA to my amp and use the sound card's EQ settings and Windows Volume once the system.

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post #264 of 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by axipher View Post

Maybe I'm just a little confused by the use of line-level.  I've always been taught to use line-level to describe the actual speaker output from an amp, or a signal between amps coming off (+) and (-) terminals.  From my understanding, the only different level on low-level signals like RCA is when you start getting in to XLR and other professional connections.  I was under the impression that RCA signals themselves were pretty standard accross equipment and the only reason to use an RCA > RCA device was if you wanted to have a separate EQ and volume box.

I was planning on using a high-end sound card to output RCA to my amp and use the sound card's EQ settings and Windows Volume once the system.


Stuff coming out of the puter, in your case via the soundcard will be low-level, as in actual voltage out from the soundcards RCA's will be low-level. Some ppl are happy with the volume from that, but if you are not, look into a line-driver. I would say that most are not happy with the volume from low-level RCAs.
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post #265 of 398
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsm106 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by axipher View Post

Maybe I'm just a little confused by the use of line-level.  I've always been taught to use line-level to describe the actual speaker output from an amp, or a signal between amps coming off (+) and (-) terminals.  From my understanding, the only different level on low-level signals like RCA is when you start getting in to XLR and other professional connections.  I was under the impression that RCA signals themselves were pretty standard accross equipment and the only reason to use an RCA > RCA device was if you wanted to have a separate EQ and volume box.

I was planning on using a high-end sound card to output RCA to my amp and use the sound card's EQ settings and Windows Volume once the system.


Stuff coming out of the puter, in your case via the soundcard will be low-level, as in actual voltage out from the soundcards RCA's will be low-level. Some ppl are happy with the volume from that, but if you are not, look into a line-driver. I would say that most are not happy with the volume from low-level RCAs.

 

Looking at the Xonar Essense STX, it has a 2 V RMS output and my MRP-M500 sub-amplifier has a Input Sensitivity of 0.2 - 4.0 V.  My KTP-445U has an input sensitivity 0.2 - 4 V on the low-level and a speaker level output of 0.5 - 10 V.

 

I guess I'm still confused at the Three.2's claim of greater than 4 V outputs on the RCA when that's way more than my amp is looking for.

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post #266 of 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by axipher View Post

Looking at the Xonar Essense STX, it has a 2 V RMS output and my MRP-M500 sub-amplifier has a Input Sensitivity of 0.2 - 4.0 V.  My KTP-445U has an input sensitivity 0.2 - 4 V on the low-level and a speaker level output of 0.5 - 10 V.

I guess I'm still confused at the Three.2's claim of greater than 4 V outputs on the RCA when that's way more than my amp is looking for.


This is why you want a line-level to match the output to the amps sensitivity. The three.2 has adjustable output gains going up to 13v or whatever because it is a single solution for all grades of gear. Since your Xonar only goes up to 2v, you will have situations where you cannot get enough volume and will have to raise the gains on your amps, which will create distortion after a certain point.


For ex. this JL Audio HD1200/1 has adjustable sensitivity going all the way up to 8v for competition setups. If you had a 2v output you could never feed enough gain for these amps and would need something with a hefty output voltage, or god forbid run them in low mode.
Quote:
Input Voltage Range @ RCA Inputs Switchable from 200 mV - 2 V RMS (Low) to 800 mV - 8 V RMS (High)

The higher end Alpine amps support 8v sensitivities as well.
Quote:
Input Sensitivity (RCA Input): Select Vol, 0.1V to 1.0V or 1.0V to 8.0V (For Rated Power)
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post #267 of 398
Thread Starter 

Hmm, well even the higher end MRP-M1000 which I plan to upgrade this system too still only supports 0.2 - 4 V input.

 

I don't want to have to get a secondary device just to bump the max 2 V from the sound card up to 4 V.  Maybe I just need to start looking more deeply in to sound card options.

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post #268 of 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by axipher View Post

All a giant cap is in this case is a mini battery that can charge up really fast, but discharges really fast.

When people add a second battery to their audio systems, it negates the need for a cap completely if done properly.

The cap still sounds perfect to me. Cheaper, provides more cranking amps and lasts way longer.

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post #269 of 398
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidiaftw12 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by axipher View Post

All a giant cap is in this case is a mini battery that can charge up really fast, but discharges really fast.

When people add a second battery to their audio systems, it negates the need for a cap completely if done properly.

The cap still sounds perfect to me. Cheaper, provides more cranking amps and lasts way longer.

 

Cap is just a cheap solution if you can't afford a second battery and running a better power cable to help charge the battery.

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post #270 of 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by axipher View Post

Hmm, well even the higher end MRP-M1000 which I plan to upgrade this system too still only supports 0.2 - 4 V input.

I don't want to have to get a secondary device just to bump the max 2 V from the sound card up to 4 V.  Maybe I just need to start looking more deeply in to sound card options.


Well, like as I wrote, you may be fine with it. If not you can go with a simple line level driver or a full on processor, etc. Won't know till you try it right?
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